United States District Court, D. Maryland
Richard D. Bennett United States District Judge.
Rebekah Reyes ("Plaintiff of "Reyes") brings
this action against pro se Defendant Rebecca Norris
("Norris") and Defendant Appalachian Wellness
Center, LLC (the "Center") (collectively,
"Defendants"), alleging violations of the Maryland
Wage Payment and Collection Law, Md. Code Ann., Lab. &
Empl., § 3-501, et seq. ("MWPCL") and
the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 7434. (ECF No.
1.) Currently pending before this Court is Defendant
Norris' Motion to Dismiss and Answer to the Complaint.
(ECF No. 5.) The parties' submissions have been reviewed
and no hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6
(D. Md. 2016). For the following reasons, Defendant
Norris' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 5) is DENIED.
Reyes worked for the Defendants Norris and the Center from
around December 14, 2015 through November 28, 2016. (ECF No.
1 at ¶ 7.) The Center is a mental health facility that
provides psychotherapy, counseling and related services.
(Id. at ¶ 3.) Throughout Reyes' employment,
she asserts that Norris had the power to fire, hire, suspend
or discipline her, set and control her work schedule, set and
determine her rate and method of pay, and controlled and was
in charge of the Center's day-to-day operations.
(Id. at ¶ 6.) Defendants agreed to pay
Plaintiff every two weeks and an annual salary of S95,
000.00. (Id. at ¶ 8.) Plaintiff asserts mat
without justification or excuse, Plaintiff was never paid for
the last week and one hour she worked. (Id. at
¶ 9.) Additionally, Defendants knowingly and willfully
issued her an IRS Form 1099, a form for independent
contractors, rather than an IRS Form W-2, a form for
employees. (Id. at ¶¶ 16-17.) On September
6, 2017, Defendant Norris filed a pro se Motion to
Dismiss and Answer to the Complaint. (ECF No. 5.)
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is governed by
Rule 12(b)(6), which authorizes the dismissal of a complaint
if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The purpose of Rule 12(b)(6)
is "to test the sufficiency of a complaint and not to
resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a
claim, or the applicability of defenses." Presley v.
City of Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir.
2006); see also Goines v. Valley Cmty. Servs. M, 822
F.3d 159, 165-66 (4th Cir. 2016). The sufficiency of a
complaint is assessed by reference to Rule 8(a)(2)'s
pleading requirements, which provide that a complaint must
contain a "short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To survive a motion under Rule
12(b)(6), a complaint must contain facts sufficient to
"state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Bell Atl., Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
684 (2009). Defendant Norris filed a pro se Motion
to Dismiss, which is "to be liberally construed."
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197
(2007) ("A document filed pro se is 'to be
liberally construed.'" (citation omitted)).
Reyes brings two claims against the Defendants. First, she
asserts that without justification or excuse she was never
paid for the last week and one hour she worked, in violation
of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, Md. Code
Ann., Lab. & Empl., § 3-501, et seq.
("MWPCL") (Count I). Second, she claims that
Defendants knowingly and willingly gave her the wrong IRS
Form, in violation of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C.
§ 7434 (Count II). Although labeled as a Motion to
Dismiss, Defendant Norris' pro se Motion to
Dismiss and Answer to the Complaint is solely an Answer to
the Complaint. Rather than making legal argument for why this
Court, accepting as true the facts alleged in Plaintiffs
Complaint as required by Twombly and Iqbal,
should dismiss the Complaint, Norris denies many of the
Complaint's allegations. Specifically, she asserts that
Plaintiff was not paid for the last week and hour that she
worked because Plaintiff in fact owed Defendant $3, 750 at
the time, and further that Plaintiff was a subcontractor
rather than an employee.
motion to dismiss stage, this Court must accept as true all
of the Complaint's factual allegations. Given that
Defendant Norris' Motion only challenges the
Complaint's factual assertions rather than arguing that
Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted under the MWPCL or Internal Revenue Code, it IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED this 19th day of March, 2018, that
Defendant's Motion (ECF No. 5) is DENIED; and it is
HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court transmit a
copy of this Memorandum Order to the Parties and Counsel of
 On October 4, 2017, a Clerk's
Entry of Default was entered against Appalachian Wellness